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From Invisible to Targeted to Safe: Become an Ally for LGBTQIA+ Employees
June 29, 2021 - 9:00am to 11:30am (PDT)
Presenter: Michael Bach

Today, the LGBTQIA+ community is under attack in the political discourse in our country. As verbal aggression has ramped up, so has physical aggression (a relationship known as vapa, VaPa, VAPA—as verbal aggression increases, so does physical aggression).


For example, the Human Rights Campaign reported at least 57 transgender or gender non-conforming people were fatally shot or violently killed in the United States in 2021—the deadliest year ever (we say "at least" because deaths of this population group are historically underreported or misgendered). In the rest of the world, 375 transgender people were murdered. Most victims were Black and migrant trans women of colour and trans sex workers (


The attack continues in the form of legislation—115 bills have been proposed in 30 U.S. state legislatures that focus on limiting transgender rights, including participating on sports teams and having access to medical care (PBS News Hour). 


In Florida, the "Parental Rights in Education" bill (dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" bill) prohibits teachers from conducting classroom lessons on gender identity or sexual orientation for students in kindergarten through third grade; in addition, such lessons are banned for older students unless deemed “age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate."


What can individuals and organizations do to mitigate this kind of violence and create a greater sense of safety and inclusion for LGBTQIA+ employees?


The first goal of this session is to demystify LGBTQIA+ inclusion and help participants understand a topic that can be quite challenging for some—the complexity of sexuality and gender.


The second goal is for Series participants to leave being informed and moved to action—which means knowing the current state of the LGBTQIA+ community, how to challenge misleading and disrespectful information, and how to be an ally in creating inclusive environments where LGBTQIA+ employees can be safe, bring their whole selves to a team, and thrive.


Learning Outcomes:


As a result of attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • Use common terms when discussing LGBTQIA+ inclusion, such as the difference between attraction, identity, and expression.

  • Communicate why LGBTQIA+ inclusion matters from a workplace context and what the potential cost of inaction could be.

  • Articulate how to collect self-identification information on sexuality and gender in a manner that is respectful and inclusive.

  • Challenge misleading and disrespectful information about the LGBTQIA+ community.

  • Step up to be an active ally, not just an armchair ally.


Meet the presenter:

Presenter Photo Bach, Michael .jpg

Michael Bach is the founder of the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion and the CEO of CCDI Consulting Inc. He is nationally and internationally recognized as a thought leader and subject matter expert in the fields of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility, bringing a vast knowledge of leading practices in a live setting to his work. Prior to taking on this role, he was the National Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for KPMG Canada, a role he created and held for seven years. Additionally, Michael completed a 2½ year secondment as Deputy Chief Diversity Officer for KPMG International. Over the course of his career, Michael has received repeated recognition for his work, including being named:

• Women of Influence’s Canadian Diversity Champions

• Catalyst Canada Honours Human Resources/Diversity Leader

• Inspire Award as LGBTQ Person of the Year

• Out on Bay Street Leaders to be Proud of LGBT Advocate Workplace Award

• Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council’s IS Award

• Canadian HR Reporter Individual Achievement Award


Under Michael’s leadership, CCDI has received numerous awards, including winning the Canadian HR Reporter Readers’ Choice Award in the category of Diversity/Employment Equity Consultant in all the years the award has been given out (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021).

Michael has a Post-Graduate Certificate in Diversity Management from Cornell University and holds the Cornell Certified Diversity Professional, Advanced Practitioner (CCDP/AP) designation. His 2020 book Birds of All Feathers: Doing Diversity and Inclusion Right is a Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and Amazon best-seller, and recipient of the silver 2020 Nautilus Book Award in the category of Rising to the Moment. His new book Alphabet Soup: The Essential Guide to LGBTQ2+ Inclusion at Work will be released on March 29, 2022.

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